Classical Latin

Classical Latin

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Classical Latin in simplest terms is the socio-linguistic register
Register (sociolinguistics)
In linguistics, a register is a variety of a language used for a particular purpose or in a particular social setting. For example, when speaking in a formal setting an English speaker may be more likely to adhere more closely to prescribed grammar, pronounce words ending in -ing with a velar nasal...

 of the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 language regarded by the enfranchised and empowered populations of the late Roman republic
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

 and the Roman empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 as good Latin. Most writers during this time made use of it. Any unabridged Latin dictionary informs moderns that Marcus Tullius Cicero and his contemporaries of the late republic while using lingua Latina and sermo Latinus to mean the Latin language as opposed to the Greek or other languages, and sermo vulgaris or sermo vulgi to refer to the vernacular of the uneducated masses
Vulgar Latin
Vulgar Latin is any of the nonstandard forms of Latin from which the Romance languages developed. Because of its nonstandard nature, it had no official orthography. All written works used Classical Latin, with very few exceptions...

, regarded the speech they valued most and in which they wrote as Latinitas, "Latinity", with the implication of good. Sometimes it is called sermo familiaris, "speech of the good families", sermo urbanus, "speech of the city" or rarely sermo nobilis, "noble speech", but mainly besides Latinitas it was Latine (adverb), "in good Latin", or Latinius (comparative degree of adjective), "good Latin."

Latinitas was spoken as well as written. Moreover, it was the language taught by the schools. Prescriptive rules therefore applied to it, and where a special subject was concerned, such as poetry or rhetoric, additional rules applied as well. Now that the spoken Latinitas has become extinct (in favor of various other registers later in date) the rules of the, for the most part, polished (politus) texts may give the appearance of an artificial language, but Latinitas was a form of sermo, or spoken language and as such retains a spontaneity. No authors are noted for the type of rigidity evidenced by stylized art, except possibly the repetitious abbreviations and stock phrases of inscriptions.

The classical


Good Latin in philology
Philology
Philology is the study of language in written historical sources; it is a combination of literary studies, history and linguistics.Classical philology is the philology of Greek and Classical Latin...

 is "classical" Latin literature
Latin literature
Latin literature includes the essays, histories, poems, plays, and other writings of the ancient Romans. In many ways, it seems to be a continuation of Greek literature, using many of the same forms...

. The term refers to the canonicity of works of literature written in Latin in the late Roman republic
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

 and the early to middle Roman empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

: "that is to say, that of belonging to an exclusive group of authors (or works) that were considered to be emblematic of a certain genre." The term classicus (masculine plural classici) was devised by the Romans themselves to translate Greek ἐγκριθέντες (egkrithentes), "select", referring to authors who wrote in Greek that were considered model. Before then, classis, in addition to being a naval fleet, was a social class in one of the diachronic divisions of Roman society according to property ownership by the Roman constitution. The word is a transliteration of Greek κλῆσις (klēsis) "calling", used to rank army draftees by property from first to fifth class.

Classicus is anything primae classis, "first class", such as the authors of the polished works of Latinitas, or sermo urbanus. It had nuances of the certified and the authentic: testis classicus, "reliable witness." It was in this sense that Marcus Cornelius Fronto
Marcus Cornelius Fronto
Marcus Cornelius Fronto , Roman grammarian, rhetorician and advocate, was born at Cirta in Numidia. He also was suffect consul of 142.- Life :Fronto, who was born a Roman citizen c...

 (an African-Roman lawyer and language teacher) in the 2nd century AD used scriptores classici, "first-class" or "reliable authors" whose works could be relied upon as model of good Latin. This is the first known reference, possibly innovated at this time, to classical applied to authors by virtue of the authentic language of their works.

The canonical



In imitation of the Greek grammarians, the Roman ones, such as Quintilian
Quintilian
Marcus Fabius Quintilianus was a Roman rhetorician from Hispania, widely referred to in medieval schools of rhetoric and in Renaissance writing...

, drew up lists termed indices or ordines on the model of the Greek lists, termed pinakes, considered classical: the recepti scriptores, "select writers." Aulus Gellius
Aulus Gellius
Aulus Gellius , was a Latin author and grammarian, who was probably born and certainly brought up in Rome. He was educated in Athens, after which he returned to Rome, where he held a judicial office...

 includes many authors, such as Plautus
Plautus
Titus Maccius Plautus , commonly known as "Plautus", was a Roman playwright of the Old Latin period. His comedies are the earliest surviving intact works in Latin literature. He wrote Palliata comoedia, the genre devised by the innovator of Latin literature, Livius Andronicus...

, who are currently considered writers of Old Latin
Old Latin
Old Latin refers to the Latin language in the period before the age of Classical Latin; that is, all Latin before 75 BC...

 and not strictly in the period of classical Latin. The classical Romans distinguished Old Latin as prisca Latinitas and not sermo vulgaris. Each author (and work) in the Roman lists was considered equivalent to one in the Greek; for example Ennius
Ennius
Quintus Ennius was a writer during the period of the Roman Republic, and is often considered the father of Roman poetry. He was of Calabrian descent...

 was the Latin Homer
Homer
In the Western classical tradition Homer , is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest ancient Greek epic poet. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.When he lived is...

, the Aeneid
Aeneid
The Aeneid is a Latin epic poem, written by Virgil between 29 and 19 BC, that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who travelled to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the Romans. It is composed of roughly 10,000 lines in dactylic hexameter...

 was a new Iliad
Iliad
The Iliad is an epic poem in dactylic hexameters, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles...

, and so on. The lists of classical authors were as far as the Roman grammarians went in developing a philology
Philology
Philology is the study of language in written historical sources; it is a combination of literary studies, history and linguistics.Classical philology is the philology of Greek and Classical Latin...

. The topic remained at that point while interest in the classici scriptores declined in the medieval period as the best Latin yielded to medieval Latin
Medieval Latin
Medieval Latin was the form of Latin used in the Middle Ages, primarily as a medium of scholarly exchange and as the liturgical language of the medieval Roman Catholic Church, but also as a language of science, literature, law, and administration. Despite the clerical origin of many of its authors,...

, somewhat less than the best by classical standards.

The Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 brought a revival of interest in restoring as much of Roman culture as could be restored and with it the return of the concept of classic, "the best." Thomas Sebillet
Thomas Sébillet
Thomas Sébillet was a French jurist and grammarian. He is now remembered for his Art Poétique from 1548, on French verse. He was strongly contradicted later by Joachim du Bellay, whose art poétique became normative. This "decapitation of richesse" lead to a centralisation of language, too...

 in 1548 (Art Poétique) referred to "les bons et classiques poètes françois", meaning Jean de Meun
Jean de Meun
Jean de Meun was a French author best known for his continuation of the Roman de la Rose.-Life:...

 and Alain Chartier
Alain Chartier
Alain Chartier was a French poet and political writer.He was born at Bayeux, into a family marked by considerable ability. His eldest brother Guillaume became bishop of Paris; and Thomas became notary to the king. Jean Chartier, a monk of St Denis, whose history of Charles VII is printed in vol. III...

, which was the first modern application of the word. According to Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, the term classical, from classicus, entered modern English in 1599, some 50 years after its re-introduction on the continent. Governor William Bradford in 1648 referred to synod
Synod
A synod historically is a council of a church, usually convened to decide an issue of doctrine, administration or application. In modern usage, the word often refers to the governing body of a particular church, whether its members are meeting or not...

s of a separatist church as "classical meetings" in his Dialogue, a report of a meeting between New-England-born "young men" and "ancient men" from Holland and England. In 1715 Laurence Echard
Laurence Echard
-Life:He was son of the Rev. Thomas Echard or Eachard of Barsham, Suffolk, by his wife, the daughter of Samuel and Dorothy Groome, and was born at Barsham. On 26 May 1687, at the age of seventeen, he was admitted a sizar of Christ's College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1692 and M.A. in 1695...

's Classical Geographical Dictionary was published. In 1736 Robert Ainsworth
Robert Ainsworth (lexicographer)
Robert Ainsworth was an English Latin lexicographer, and author of the well-known compendious Dictionary of the Latin Tongue. He was born at Eccles, near Salford, Lancashire in September 1660...

's Thesaurus Linguae Latinae Compendarius turned English words and expressions into "proper and classical Latin." In 1768 David Ruhnken
David Ruhnken
David Ruhnken was a Dutch classical scholar of German origin.-Origins:Ruhnken was born in Bedlin near Stolp, Pomerania Province,...

 (Critical History of the Greek Orators) recast the mold of the view of the classical by applying the word canon to the pinakes of orators, after the Biblical canon
Biblical canon
A biblical canon, or canon of scripture, is a list of books considered to be authoritative as scripture by a particular religious community. The term itself was first coined by Christians, but the idea is found in Jewish sources. The internal wording of the text can also be specified, for example...

 or list of authentic books of the Bible. Ruhnken had a kind of secular catechism
Catechism
A catechism , i.e. to indoctrinate) is a summary or exposition of doctrine, traditionally used in Christian religious teaching from New Testament times to the present...

 in mind.

The ages of Latin



In 1870 Wilhelm Sigismund Teuffel
Wilhelm Siegmund Teuffel
Wilhelm Siegmund Teuffel , German classical scholar, was born at Ludwigsburg in the kingdom of Württemberg...

 in Geschichte der Römischen Literatur (A History of Roman Literature) innovated the definitive philological classification of classical Latin based on the metaphoric uses of the ancient myth of the Ages of Man
Ages of Man
The Ages of Man are the stages of human existence on the Earth according to Greek mythology. Two classical authors in particular offer accounts of the successive ages of mankind, which tend to progress from an original, long-gone age in which humans enjoyed a nearly divine existence to the current...

, a practice then universally current: a Golden Age and a Silver Age of classical Latin were to be presumed. The practice and Teuffel's classification, with modifications, are still in use. His work was translated into English as soon as published in German by Wilhelm Wagner, who corresponded with Teuffel. Wagner published the English translation in 1873. Teuffel divides the chronology of classical Latin authors into several periods according to political events, rather than by style. Regarding the style of the literary Latin of those periods he had but few comments.

Teuffel was to go on with other editions of his history, but meanwhile it had come out in English almost as soon as it did in German and found immediate favorable reception. In 1877 Charles Thomas Cruttwell produced the first English work along the same lines. In his Preface he refers to "Teuffel's admirable history, without which many chapters in the present work could not have attained completeness" and also gives credit to Wagner.

Cruttwell adopts the same periods with minor differences; however, where Teuffel's work is mainly historical, Cruttwell's work contains detailed analyses of style. Nevertheless like Teuffel he encounters the same problem of trying to summarize the voluminous detail in a way that captures in brief the gist of a few phases of writing styles. Like Teuffel, he has trouble finding a name for the first of the three periods (the current Old Latin
Old Latin
Old Latin refers to the Latin language in the period before the age of Classical Latin; that is, all Latin before 75 BC...

 phase), calling it mainly "from Livius to Sulla." The language, he says, is "…marked by immaturity of art and language, by a vigorous but ill-disciplined imitation of Greek poetical models, and in prose by a dry sententiousness of style, gradually giving way to a clear and fluent strength…" These abstracts have little meaning to those not well-versed in Latin literature. In fact, Cruttwell admits "The ancients, indeed, saw a difference between Ennius
Ennius
Quintus Ennius was a writer during the period of the Roman Republic, and is often considered the father of Roman poetry. He was of Calabrian descent...

, Pacuvius
Pacuvius
Marcus Pacuvius was the greatest of the tragic poets of ancient Rome prior to Lucius Accius.He was the nephew and pupil of Ennius, by whom Roman tragedy was first raised to a position of influence and dignity...

, and Accius
Accius
Accius, a Latin poet of the 16th century, to whom is attributed a paraphrase of Aesop's Fables, of which Julius Scaliger speaks with great praise....

, but it may be questioned whether the advance would be perceptible by us."

Some of Cruttwell's ideas have become stock in Latin philology for better or for worse. While praising the application of rules to classical Latin, most intensely in the Golden Age, he says "In gaining accuracy, however, classical Latin suffered a grievous loss. It became cultivated as distinct from a natural language… Spontaneity, therefore, became impossible and soon invention also ceased… In a certain sense, therefore, Latin was studied as a dead language, while it was still a living." These views are certainly debatable; one might ask how the upper classes of late 16th century Britain, who shared the Renaissance zealousness for the classics, managed to speak spontaneous Latin to each other officially and unofficially after being taught classical Latin by tutors hired for the purpose. Latinitas in the Golden Age was in fact sermo familiaris, the spoken Latin of the Roman upper classes, who sent their children to school to learn it. The debate continues.

A second problem is the appropriateness of Teuffel's scheme to the concept of classical Latin, which Teuffel does not discuss. Cruttwell addresses the problem, however, altering the concept of the classical. As the best Latin is defined as golden Latin, the second of the three periods, the other two periods considered classical are left hanging. While on the one hand assigning to Old Latin the term pre-classical and by implication the term post-classical (or post-Augustan) to silver Latin Cruttwell realizes that this construct is not according to ancient usage and asserts "…the epithet classical is by many restricted to the authors who wrote in it [golden Latin]. It is best, however, not to narrow unnecessarily the sphere of classicity; to exclude Terence
Terence
Publius Terentius Afer , better known in English as Terence, was a playwright of the Roman Republic, of North African descent. His comedies were performed for the first time around 170–160 BC. Terentius Lucanus, a Roman senator, brought Terence to Rome as a slave, educated him and later on,...

 on the one hand or Tacitus
Tacitus
Publius Cornelius Tacitus was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors...

 and Pliny
Pliny the Elder
Gaius Plinius Secundus , better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian...

 on the other, would savour of artificial restriction rather than that of a natural classification." (This from a scholar who had just been complaining that golden Latin was not a natural language.) The contradiction remains; Terence is and is not a classical author depending on context.

Authors of the Golden Age



After defining a "First Period" of inscriptional Latin and the literature of the earliest known authors and fragments, to which he assigns no definitive name (he does use the term "Old Roman" at one point), Teuffel presents "the second period", his major, "das goldene Zeitalter der römischen Literatur", the Golden Age of Roman Literature, dated 671 – 767 AUC
Ab urbe condita
Ab urbe condita is Latin for "from the founding of the City ", traditionally set in 753 BC. AUC is a year-numbering system used by some ancient Roman historians to identify particular Roman years...

 or 83 BC – 14 AD according to his time reckoning, between the dictatorship of Lucius Cornelius Sulla
Lucius Cornelius Sulla
Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix , known commonly as Sulla, was a Roman general and statesman. He had the rare distinction of holding the office of consul twice, as well as that of dictator...

 and the death of the emperor Augustus
Augustus
Augustus ;23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.The dates of his rule are contemporary dates; Augustus lived under two calendars, the Roman Republican until 45 BC, and the Julian...

. Of it Wagner translating Teuffel writes
The golden age of the Roman literature is that period in which the climax was reached in the perfection of form, and in most respects also in the methodical treatment of the subject-matters. It may be subdivided between the generations, in the first of which (the Ciceronian Age) prose culminated, while poetry was principally developed in the Augustan Age.


The Ciceronian Age was dated 671–711 AUC (83 BC – 43 BC), ending just after the assassination of Gaius Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

, and the Augustan 711–67 AUC (43 BC – 14 AD), ending with the death of Augustus. The Ciceronian Age is further divided by the consulship of Cicero in 691 AUC or 63 BC into a first and second half. Authors are assigned to these periods by years of principal achievements.

The Golden Age had already made an appearance in German philology but in a less systematic way. In Bielfeld's 1770 Elements of universal erudition the author says (in translation): "The Second Age of Latin began about the time of Caesar [his ages are different from Teuffel's], and ended with Tiberius. This is what is called the Augustan Age, which was perhaps of all others the most brilliant, a period at which it should seem as if the greatest men, and the immortal authors, had met together upon the earth, in order to write the Latin language in its utmost purity and perfection." and of Tacitus "…his conceits and sententious style is not that of the golden age…". Teuffel evidently received the ideas of a golden and silver Latin from an existing tradition and embedded them in a new system, transforming them as he thought best.

In Cruttwell's introduction, the Golden Age is dated 80 BC – 14 AD ("from Cicero
Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero , was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.He introduced the Romans to the chief...

 to Ovid
Ovid
Publius Ovidius Naso , known as Ovid in the English-speaking world, was a Roman poet who is best known as the author of the three major collections of erotic poetry: Heroides, Amores, and Ars Amatoria...

"), which is about the same as Teuffel's. Of this "Second Period" Cruttwell says that it "represents the highest excellence in prose and poetry," paraphrasing Teuffel. The Ciceronian Age is now "the Republican Period" and is dated 80–42 BC through the Battle of Philippi
Battle of Philippi
The Battle of Philippi was the final battle in the Wars of the Second Triumvirate between the forces of Mark Antony and Octavian and the forces of Julius Caesar's assassins Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus in 42 BC, at Philippi in Macedonia...

. Later in the book Cruttwell omits Teuffel's first half of the Ciceronian and starts the Golden Age at Cicero's consulship of 63 BC, an error perpetuated into Cruttwell's second edition as well. He must mean 80 BC as he includes Varro in Golden Latin. Teuffel's Augustan Age is Cruttwell's Augustan Epoch, 42 BC – 14 AD.

Republican




The literary histories list all authors canonical to the Ciceronian Age even though their works may be fragmentary or may not have survived at all. With the exception of a few major writers, such as Cicero, Caesar, Lucretius and Catullus, ancient accounts of Republican literature are glowing accounts of jurists and orators who wrote prolifically but who now can't be read because their works have been lost, or analyses of language and style that appear insightful but can't be verified because there are no surviving instances. In that sense the pages of literary history are peopled with shadows: Aquilius Gallus, Quintus Hortensius Hortalus, Lucius Licinius Lucullus
Lucius Licinius Lucullus
This article is on the Consul of 151 BC. For the descendent see Lucullus, and for others of this name see Licinia .Lucius Licinius Lucullus was a novus homo who became Consul in 151 BC. He was imprisoned by the Tribunes for attempting to enforce a troop levy too harshly...

 and many others who left a reputation but no readable works; they are to be presumed in the Golden Age by their associations. A list of some canonical authors of the period, whose works have survived in whole or in part (typically in part, some only short fragments) is as follows:
  • Marcus Terentius Varro
    Marcus Terentius Varro
    Marcus Terentius Varro was an ancient Roman scholar and writer. He is sometimes called Varro Reatinus to distinguish him from his younger contemporary Varro Atacinus.-Biography:...

     (116–27 BC), highly influential grammarian
  • Titus Pomponius Atticus
    Titus Pomponius Atticus
    Titus Pomponius Atticus, born Titus Pomponius , came from an old but not strictly noble Roman family of the equestrian class and the Gens Pomponia. He was a celebrated editor, banker, and patron of letters with residences in both Rome and Athens...

     (112/109 – 35/32), publisher and correspondent of Cicero
  • Marcus Tullius Cicero (106–43 BC), orator, philosopher, correspondent, whose works define golden Latin prose and are used in Latin curricula beyond the elementary level
  • Servius Sulpicius Rufus
    Servius Sulpicius Rufus
    Servius Sulpicius Rufus , surnamed Lemonia from the tribe to which he belonged, was a Roman orator and jurist.He studied rhetoric with Cicero, and accompanied him to Rhodes in 78 BC. Finding that he would never be able to rival his teacher he gave up rhetoric for law...

     (106–43 BC), jurist, poet
  • Decimus Laberius
    Decimus Laberius
    Decimus Laberius was a Roman eques and writer of mimes.He seems to have been a man of caustic wit, who wrote for his own pleasure. In 46 BC, Julius Caesar ordered him to appear in one of his own mimes in a public contest with the actor Publilius Syrus...

     (105–43 BC), writer of mimes
  • Marcus Furius Bibaculus
    Marcus Furius Bibaculus
    Marcus Furius Bibaculus , Roman poet, flourished during the last century of the republic.According to Jerome, he was born at Cremona, and probably lived to a great age. He wrote satirical poems after the manner of Catullus, whose bitterness he rivaled, according to Quintilian , in his iambics...

     (1st century BC), writer of ludicra
  • Gaius Julius Caesar
    Julius Caesar
    Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

     (103–44 BC), general, historian
  • Gaius Oppius
    Gaius Oppius
    Gaius Oppius was an intimate friend of Julius Caesar. He managed the dictator's private affairs during his absence from Rome, and, together with Lucius Cornelius Balbus, exercised considerable influence in the city...

     (1st century BC), secretary to Julius Caesar, probable author under Caesar's name
  • Gaius Matius
    Gaius Matius
    Gaius Matius was a citizen of ancient Rome notable as a friend of Cicero and Julius Caesar.A member of the gens Matia, he belonged to the party of Caesar, and helped Cicero in his relationship with Caesar in 49 and 48 BC...

     (1st century BC), public figure, correspondent with Cicero
  • Cornelius Nepos
    Cornelius Nepos
    Cornelius Nepos was a Roman biographer. He was born at Hostilia, a village in Cisalpine Gaul not far from Verona. His Gallic origin is attested by Ausonius, and Pliny the Elder calls him Padi accola...

     (100–24 BC), biographer
  • Publilius Syrus
    Publilius Syrus
    Publilius Syrus, a Latin writer of maxims, flourished in the 1st century BC. He was a Syrian who was brought as a slave to Italy, but by his wit and talent he won the favor of his master, who freed and educated him....

     (1st century BC), writer of mimes and maxims
  • Quintus Cornificius
    Cornificius
    Quintus Cornificius was a Roman author of a work on rhetorical figures, and perhaps of a general treatise on the art of rhetoric.-Auctor ad Herennium:...

     (1st century BC), public figure and writer on rhetoric
  • Titus Lucretius Carus (Lucretius) (94–50 BC), poet, philosopher
  • Publius Nigidius Figulus
    Nigidius Figulus
    Among his contemporaries, Nigidius's reputation for learning was second only to that of Varro. Even in his own time, his works were regarded as often abstruse, perhaps because of their esoteric Pythagoreanism, into which Nigidius incorporated Stoic elements...

     (98–45 BC), public officer, grammarian
  • Aulus Hirtius
    Aulus Hirtius
    Aulus Hirtius was one of the consuls of the Roman Republic and a writer on military subjects.He was known to have been a legate of Julius Caesar's starting around 54 BC and served as an envoy to Pompey in 50. During the Roman Civil Wars he served in Spain, he might have been a tribune in 48, and...

     (90–43 BC), public officer, military historian
  • Gaius Helvius Cinna (1st century BC), poet
  • Marcus Caelius Rufus
    Marcus Caelius Rufus
    Marcus Caelius Rufus was an orator and politician in the late Roman Republic. He was born into a wealthy equestrian family from Interamnia Praetuttiorum , on the central east coast of Italy...

     (87–48 BC), orator, correspondent with Cicero
  • Gaius Sallustius Crispus (86–34 BC), historian
  • Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis
    Cato the Younger
    Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis , commonly known as Cato the Younger to distinguish him from his great-grandfather , was a politician and statesman in the late Roman Republic, and a follower of the Stoic philosophy...

     (Cato the Younger) (95–46 BC), orator
  • Publius Valerius Cato
    Publius Valerius Cato
    Publius Valerius Cato was a Roman poet and grammarian. He is of importance as the leader of the new school of poetry. Its followers rejected the national epic and drama in favor of the artificial mythological epics and elegies of the Alexandrian school, and preferred Euphorion of Chalcis to Ennius...

     (1st century BC), poet, grammarian
  • Gaius Valerius Catullus (Catullus) (84–54 BC), poet
  • Gaius Licinius Macer Calvus (82–47 BC), orator, poet

Augustan




The Golden Age is divided by the assassination of Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

. In the wars that followed the Republican generation of literary men was lost, as most of them had taken the losing side; Marcus Tullius Cicero was beheaded in the street as he enquired from his litter what the disturbance was. They were replaced by a new generation that had grown up and been educated under the old and were now to make their mark under the watchful eye of the new emperor. As the demand for great orators was more or less over, the talent shifted emphasis to poetry. Other than the historian Livy
Livy
Titus Livius — known as Livy in English — was a Roman historian who wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people. Ab Urbe Condita Libri, "Chapters from the Foundation of the City," covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome well before the traditional foundation in 753 BC...

, the most remarkable writers of the period were the poets Vergil, Horace
Horace
Quintus Horatius Flaccus , known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus.-Life:...

, and Ovid
Ovid
Publius Ovidius Naso , known as Ovid in the English-speaking world, was a Roman poet who is best known as the author of the three major collections of erotic poetry: Heroides, Amores, and Ars Amatoria...

. Although Augustus evidenced some toleration to republican sympathizers, he exiled Ovid, and imperial tolerance ended with the continuance of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty
Julio-Claudian Dynasty
The Julio-Claudian dynasty normally refers to the first five Roman Emperors: Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula , Claudius, and Nero, or the family to which they belonged; they ruled the Roman Empire from its formation, in the second half of the 1st century BC, until AD 68, when the last of the line,...

.

Augustan writers include:
  • Publius Vergilius Maro
    Virgil
    Publius Vergilius Maro, usually called Virgil or Vergil in English , was an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He is known for three major works of Latin literature, the Eclogues , the Georgics, and the epic Aeneid...

     (Virgil, spelled also as Vergil) (70–19 BC),
  • Quintus Horatius Flaccus
    Horace
    Quintus Horatius Flaccus , known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus.-Life:...

     (Horace) (65–8 BC), known for lyric poetry and satires
  • Sextus Aurelius Propertius
    Sextus Propertius
    Sextus Aurelius Propertius was a Latin elegiac poet of the Augustan age. He was born around 50–45 BC in Assisium and died shortly after 15 BC.Propertius' surviving work comprises four books of Elegies...

     (50–15 BC), poet
  • Albius Tibullus (54–19 BC), elegiac poet
  • Titus Livius
    Livy
    Titus Livius — known as Livy in English — was a Roman historian who wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people. Ab Urbe Condita Libri, "Chapters from the Foundation of the City," covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome well before the traditional foundation in 753 BC...

     (Livy) (64 BC – 12 AD), historian
  • Publius Ovidius Naso (Ovid) (43 BC – 18 AD), poet
  • Grattius Faliscus, a contemporary of Ovid), poet
  • Marcus Manilius
    Marcus Manilius
    Marcus Manilius was a Roman poet, astrologer, and author of a poem in five books called Astronomica.-Criticism:The author of Astronomica is neither quoted nor mentioned by any ancient writer. Even his name is uncertain, but it was probably Marcus Manilius; in the earlier books the author is...

     (1st century BC & AD), astrologer, poet
  • Gaius Julius Hyginus
    Gaius Julius Hyginus
    Gaius Julius Hyginus was a Latin author, a pupil of the famous Cornelius Alexander Polyhistor, and a freedman of Caesar Augustus. He was by Augustus elected superintendent of the Palatine library according to Suetonius' De Grammaticis, 20...

     (64 BC – 17 AD), librarian, poet, mythographer
  • Marcus Verrius Flaccus (55 BC – 20 AD), grammarian, philologist, calendrist
  • Marcus Vitruvius Pollio
    Vitruvius
    Marcus Vitruvius Pollio was a Roman writer, architect and engineer, active in the 1st century BC. He is best known as the author of the multi-volume work De Architectura ....

     (80-70 BC — after 15 BC), engineer, architect
  • Marcus Antistius Labeo
    Marcus Antistius Labeo
    Marcus Antistius Labeo was a prominent jurist of ancient Rome.He was the son of Quintus Antistius Labeo, a jurist who caused himself to be slain after the defeat of his party at Philippi...

     (d. 10 or 11 AD), jurist, philologist
  • Lucius Cestius Pius
    Lucius Cestius Pius
    Lucius Cestius, surnamed Pius, Latin rhetorician, flourished during the reign of Augustus.He was a native of Smyrna, a Greek by birth. According to Jerome, he was teaching Latin at Rome in the year 13 BC...

     (1st century BC & AD), Latin educator
  • Gnaeus Pompeius Trogus
    Gnaeus Pompeius Trogus
    Gnaeus Pompēius Trōgus, known as Pompeius Trogus, Pompey Trogue, or Trogue Pompey, was a 1st century BC Roman historian of the Celtic tribe of the Vocontii in Gallia Narbonensis, flourished during the age of Augustus, nearly contemporary with Livy.His grandfather served in the war against Sertorius...

     (1st century BC), historian, naturalist
  • Marcus Porcius Latro
    Marcus Porcius Latro
    Marcus Porcius Latro was during the reign of Augustus a celebrated Roman rhetorician considered one of the founders of scholastic rhetoric. He was a Spaniard by birth, and a friend and contemporary of Seneca the Elder, with whom he studied under Marillius, and by whom he is frequently...

     (1st century BC), rhetorician
  • Gaius Valgius Rufus (consul 12 BC), poet

Authors of the Silver Age



In his second volume, on the Imperial Period, Teuffel initiated a slight alteration in approach, making it clearer that his terms applied to the Latin and not just to the age, and also changing his dating scheme from years AUC to modern. Although he introduces das silberne Zeitalter der römischen Literatur, "the Silver Age of Roman Literature", 14–117 AD, from the death of Augustus to the death of Trajan
Trajan
Trajan , was Roman Emperor from 98 to 117 AD. Born into a non-patrician family in the province of Hispania Baetica, in Spain Trajan rose to prominence during the reign of emperor Domitian. Serving as a legatus legionis in Hispania Tarraconensis, in Spain, in 89 Trajan supported the emperor against...

, he also mentions regarding a section of a work by Seneca the Elder
Seneca the Elder
Lucius or Marcus Annaeus Seneca, known as Seneca the Elder and Seneca the Rhetorician , was a Roman rhetorician and writer, born of a wealthy equestrian family of Cordoba, Hispania...

 a wenig Einfluss der silbernen Latinität, a "slight influence of silver Latin." It is clear that he had shifted in thought from golden and silver ages to golden and silver Latin, and not just Latin, but Latinitas, which must at this point be interpreted as classical Latin. He may have been influenced in that regard by one of his sources, E. Opitz, who in 1852 had published a title specimen lexilogiae argenteae latinitatis, mentioning silver Latinity.
Although Teuffel's First Period was equivalent to Old Latin
Old Latin
Old Latin refers to the Latin language in the period before the age of Classical Latin; that is, all Latin before 75 BC...

 and his Second Period was equal to the Golden Age, his Third Period, die römische Kaiserheit, encompasses both the Silver Age and the centuries now termed Late Latin
Late Latin
Late Latin is the scholarly name for the written Latin of Late Antiquity. The English dictionary definition of Late Latin dates this period from the 3rd to the 6th centuries AD extending in Spain to the 7th. This somewhat ambiguously defined period fits between Classical Latin and Medieval Latin...

, in which the forms seemed to break loose from their foundation and float freely; that is, literary men appeared uncertain as to what "good Latin" should mean. The last of the Classical Latin is the Silver Latin. The Silver Age is the first of the Imperial Period and is divided into die Zeit der julischen Dynastie, 14–68; die Zeit der flavischen Dynastie, 69–96; and die Zeit des Nerva und Trajan, 96–117. Subsequently Teuffel goes over to a century scheme: 2nd, 3rd, etc., through 6th. His later editions (which came out in the rest of the late 19th century) divide the Imperial Age into parts: the 1st century (Silver Age), the 2nd century: Hadrian
Hadrian
Hadrian , was Roman Emperor from 117 to 138. He is best known for building Hadrian's Wall, which marked the northern limit of Roman Britain. In Rome, he re-built the Pantheon and constructed the Temple of Venus and Roma. In addition to being emperor, Hadrian was a humanist and was philhellene in...

 and the Antonines  and the 3rd through the 6th Centuries. Of the Silver Age proper, pointing out that anything like freedom of speech had vanished with Tiberius
Tiberius
Tiberius , was Roman Emperor from 14 AD to 37 AD. Tiberius was by birth a Claudian, son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla. His mother divorced Nero and married Augustus in 39 BC, making him a step-son of Octavian...

, Teuffel says
The content of new literary works was continually proscribed by the emperor (by executing or exiling the author), who also played the role of literary man (typically badly). The talent therefore went into a repertory of new and dazzling mannerisms, which Teuffel calls "utter unreality." Crutwell picks up this theme:

In Crutwell's view (which had not been expressed by Teuffel), Silver Latin was a "rank, weed-grown garden", a "decline." Cruttwell had already decried what he saw as a loss of spontaneity in Golden Latin. That Teuffel should regard the Silver Age as a loss of natural language and therefore of spontaneity, implying that the Golden Age had it, is passed without comment. Instead, Tiberius brought about a "sudden collapse of letters." The idea of a decline had been dominant in English society since Edward Gibbon
Edward Gibbon
Edward Gibbon was an English historian and Member of Parliament...

's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Once again, Cruttwell evidences some unease with his stock pronouncements: "The Natural History of Pliny shows how much remained to be done in fields of great interest." The idea of Pliny as a model is not consistent with any sort of decline; moreover, Pliny did his best work under emperors at least as tolerant as Augustus had been. To include some of the best writings of the Silver Age, Cruttwell found he had to extend the period through the death of Marcus Aurelius, 180 AD. The philosophic prose of that good emperor was in no way compatible with either Teuffel's view of unnatural language or Cruttwell's depiction of a decline. Having created these constructs, the two philologists found they could not entirely justify them; apparently, in the worst implications of their views, there was no classical Latin by the ancient definition at all and some of the very best writing of any period in world history was a stilted and degenerate unnatural language.

The Silver Age also furnishes the only two extant Latin novels: Apuleius's The Golden Ass
The Golden Ass
The Metamorphoses of Apuleius, which St. Augustine referred to as The Golden Ass , is the only Latin novel to survive in its entirety....

and Petronius's Satyricon
Satyricon
Satyricon is a Latin work of fiction in a mixture of prose and poetry. It is believed to have been written by Gaius Petronius, though the manuscript tradition identifies the author as a certain Titus Petronius...

.

Writers of the Silver Age include the following.

Through the death of Trajan, 114 AD



  • Aulus Cremutius Cordus
    Aulus Cremutius Cordus
    Aulus Cremutius Cordus was a Roman historian. There are very few remaining fragments of his work, that covered the civil war and the reign of Augustus Caesar. In 25 AD he was forced by Sejanus who was praetorian prefect under Tiberius to take his life after being accused of maiestas...

     (d. 25 AD), historian
  • Marcus Velleius Paterculus
    Marcus Velleius Paterculus
    Marcus Velleius Paterculus was a Roman historian, also known simply as Velleius. Although his praenomen is given as Marcus by Priscian, some modern scholars identify him with Gaius Velleius Paterculus, whose name occurs in an inscription on a north African milestone .-Biography:Paterculus belonged...

     (19 BC – 31 AD), military officer, historian
  • Valerius Maximus
    Valerius Maximus
    Valerius Maximus was a Latin writer and author of a collection of historical anecdotes. He worked during the reign of Tiberius .-Biography:...

     (1st century AD), rhetorician
  • Masurius Sabinus
    Masurius Sabinus
    Masurius Sabinus, also Massurius, was a Roman jurist who lived in the time of Tiberius . Unlike most jurists of the time, he was not of senatorial rank and was admitted to the equestrian order only rather late in life, by virtue of his exceptional ability and imperial patronage...

     (1st century AD), jurist
  • Phaedrus (c. 15 BC – 50 AD), fabulist
  • Germanicus Julius Caesar (15 BC – 19 AD), royal family, imperial officer, translator
  • Aulus Cornelius Celsus
    Aulus Cornelius Celsus
    Aulus Cornelius Celsus was a Roman encyclopedist, known for his extant medical work, De Medicina, which is believed to be the only surviving section of a much larger encyclopedia. The De Medicina is a primary source on diet, pharmacy, surgery and related fields, and it is one of the best sources...

     (25 BC – 50 AD), physician, encyclopedist
  • Quintus Curtius Rufus
    Quintus Curtius Rufus
    Quintus Curtius Rufus was a Roman historian, writing probably during the reign of the Emperor Claudius or Vespasian. His only surviving work, Historiae Alexandri Magni, is a biography of Alexander the Great in Latin in ten books, of which the first two are lost, and the remaining eight are...

     (1st century AD), historian
  • Cornelius Bocchus
    Cornelius Bocchus
    Lucius Cornelius Bocchus was a Lusitanian who wrote about natural history.Most of his writings were lost, but ancient authors mention his writings. Pliny the elder writes an excerpt of the Chronicle of Cornelius Bocchus in his work.- Sources :****...

     (1st century AD), natural historian
  • Pomponius Mela
    Pomponius Mela
    Pomponius Mela, who wrote around AD 43, was the earliest Roman geographer. He was born in Tingentera and died c. AD 45.His short work occupies less than one hundred pages of ordinary print. It is laconic in style and deficient in method, but of pure Latinity, and occasionally relieved by pleasing...

     (1st century AD), geographer
  • Lucius Annaeus Seneca
    Seneca the Younger
    Lucius Annaeus Seneca was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and in one work humorist, of the Silver Age of Latin literature. He was tutor and later advisor to emperor Nero...

     (4 BC – 65 AD), educator, imperial advisor, philosopher, man of letters
  • Titus Calpurnius Siculus
    Titus Calpurnius Siculus
    Titus Calpurnius was a Roman bucolic poet. Eleven eclogues have been handed down to us under his name, of which the last four, from metrical considerations and express manuscript testimony, are now generally attributed to Nemesianus, who lived in the time of the emperor Carus and his sons .Hardly...

     (1st century AD), poet
  • Marcus Valerius Probus
    Marcus Valerius Probus
    Marcus Valerius Probus, of Berytus, was a Roman grammarian and critic, who flourished during the Flavian dynasty.He was a student rather than a teacher, and devoted himself to the criticism and elucidation of the texts of classical authors by means of marginal notes or by signs, after the manner...

     (1st century AD), literary critic
  • Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus
    Claudius
    Claudius , was Roman Emperor from 41 to 54. A member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, he was the son of Drusus and Antonia Minor. He was born at Lugdunum in Gaul and was the first Roman Emperor to be born outside Italy...

     (10 BC – 54 AD), Emperor, man of letters, public officer
  • Gaius Suetonius Paulinus
    Gaius Suetonius Paulinus
    Gaius Suetonius Paulinus, also spelled Paullinus, was a Roman general best known as the commander who defeated the rebellion of Boudica.-Career:...

     (1st century AD), general, natural historian
  • Lucius Junius Moderatus Columella (4–70 AD), military officer, agriculturalist
  • Quintus Asconius Pedianus (9 BC – 76 AD), historian, Latinist
  • Gaius Musonius Rufus (1st century AD), stoic philosopher
  • Quintus Marcius Barea Soranus (1st century AD), imperial officer and public man
  • Gaius Plinius Secundus
    Pliny the Elder
    Gaius Plinius Secundus , better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian...

     (23–79 AD), imperial officer, encyclopedist
  • Gaius Valerius Flaccus
    Gaius Valerius Flaccus
    Gaius Valerius Flaccus was a Roman poet who flourished in the "Silver Age" under the emperors Vespasian and Titus and wrote a Latin Argonautica that owes a great deal to Apollonius of Rhodes' more famous epic....

     (1st century AD), poet
  • Tiberius Catius Silius Italicus
    Silius Italicus
    Silius Italicus, in full Tiberius Catius Asconius Silius Italicus , was a Roman consul, orator, and Latin epic poet of the 1st century CE,...

     (25–101 AD), epic poet
  • Gaius Licinius Mucianus (1st century AD), general, man of letters
  • Gaius Petronius Arbiter (27–66 AD), courtier, satirist
  • Lucilius Junior
    Lucilius Junior
    Lucilius Junior , was the Roman governor of Sicily during the reign of Nero, a friend and correspondent of Seneca, and the possible author of Aetna, a poem which survives in a corrupt state.-Life:...

     (1st century AD), poet
  • Aulus Persius Flaccus
    Aulus Persius Flaccus
    Persius, in full Aulus Persius Flaccus , was a Roman poet and satirist of Etruscan origin. In his works, poems and satires, he shows a stoic wisdom and a strong criticism for the abuses of his contemporaries...

     (34–62 AD), poet and satirist
  • Marcus Fabius Quintilianus
    Quintilian
    Marcus Fabius Quintilianus was a Roman rhetorician from Hispania, widely referred to in medieval schools of rhetoric and in Renaissance writing...

     (35–100 AD), rhetorician
  • Sextus Julius Frontinus
    Sextus Julius Frontinus
    Sextus Julius Frontinus was one of the most distinguished Roman aristocrats of the late 1st century AD, but is best known to the post-Classical world as an author of technical treatises, especially one dealing with the aqueducts of Rome....

     (40–103 AD), engineer, writer
  • Marcus Annaeus Lucanus
    Marcus Annaeus Lucanus
    Marcus Annaeus Lucanus , better known in English as Lucan, was a Roman poet, born in Corduba , in the Hispania Baetica. Despite his short life, he is regarded as one of the outstanding figures of the Imperial Latin period...

     (39–65 AD), poet, historian
  • Publius Iuventius Celsus
    Publius Iuventius Celsus
    Publius Iuventius Celsus Titus Aufidius Hoenius Severianus – the son of a little-known jurist of the same name, hence also Celsus filius – was, together with Julian, the most influential ancient Roman jurist of the High Classical era....

     Titus Aufidius Hoenius Severianus (1st and early 2nd centuries AD), imperial officer, jurist
  • Aemilius Asper
    Aemilius Asper
    Aemilius Asper, Latin grammarian, possibly lived in the 1st century or late 2nd century. He wrote commentaries on Terence, Sallust and Virgil dealing with content and form, and including parallels with other authors. Numerous fragments of the commentary on Virgil show that as both critic and...

     (1st & 2nd centuries AD), grammarian, literary critic
  • Marcus Valerius Martialis (38/41–102/104 AD), poet
  • Publius Papinius Statius (45–96 AD), poet
  • Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus
    Pliny the Younger
    Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, born Gaius Caecilius or Gaius Caecilius Cilo , better known as Pliny the Younger, was a lawyer, author, and magistrate of Ancient Rome. Pliny's uncle, Pliny the Elder, helped raise and educate him...

     (61–112 AD), attorney, magistrate, correspondent
  • Decimus Junius Juvenalis (1st & 2nd centuries AD), poet, satirist
  • Publius Annaeus Florus
    Florus
    Florus, Roman historian, lived in the time of Trajan and Hadrian.He compiled, chiefly from Livy, a brief sketch of the history of Rome from the foundation of the city to the closing of the temple of Janus by Augustus . The work, which is called Epitome de T...

     (1st & 2nd centuries AD), poet, rhetorician and probable author of the epitome of Livy
  • Velius Longus
    Velius Longus
    Velius Longus , Latin grammarian during the reign of Trajan , author of an extant treatise on orthography . He is mentioned by Macrobius and Servius as a commentator on Virgil....

     (1st & 2nd centuries AD), grammarian, literary critic
  • Flavius Caper
    Flavius Caper
    Flavius Caper, Latin grammarian, flourished during the 2nd century.He devoted special attention to the early Latin writers, and is highly spoken of by Priscian. Caper was the author of two works—De Lingua Latina and De Dubiis Generibus...

     (1st & 2nd centuries AD), grammarian
  • Publius or Gaius Cornelius Tacitus
    Tacitus
    Publius Cornelius Tacitus was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors...

     (56–117 AD), imperial officer, historian and in Teuffel's view "the last classic of Roman literature."

Through the death of Marcus Aurelius, 180 AD


Of the additional century granted by Cruttwell and others of his point of view to Silver Latin but not by Teuffel the latter says "The second century was a happy period for the Roman State, the happiest indeed during the whole Empire… But in the world of letters the lassitude and enervation, which told of Rome's decline, became unmistakeable… its forte is in imitation." Teuffel, however, excepts the jurists; others find other "exceptions," recasting Teuffels's view.
  • Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus
    Suetonius
    Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, commonly known as Suetonius , was a Roman historian belonging to the equestrian order in the early Imperial era....

     (70/75 – after 130 AD), biographer
  • Marcus Junianus Justinus (2nd century AD), historian
  • Lucius Octavius Cornelius Publius Salvius Julianus Aemilianus
    Salvius Julianus
    Lucius Octavius Cornelius Publius Salvius Julianus Aemilianus , generally referred to as Salvius Julianus, or Julian the Jurist, or simply Julianus [Iulianus], was a well known and respected jurist, public official, and politician who served in the Roman imperial state...

     (100–70 AD), imperial officer, jurist
  • Sextus Pomponius
    Sextus Pomponius
    Sextus Pomponius was a jurist who lived during the reigns of Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. He wrote a book on the law up to the time of Hadrian, the Enchiridion of Sextus Pomponius.-References:...

     (2nd century AD), jurist
  • Quintus Terentius Scaurus
    Quintus Terentius Scaurus
    Quintus Terentius Scaurus, Latin grammarian, flourished during the reign of Hadrian .He was the author of an ars grammatica and commentaries on Horace, Virgil's Aeneid and perhaps Plautus...

     (2nd century AD), grammarian, literary critic
  • Aulus Gellius
    Aulus Gellius
    Aulus Gellius , was a Latin author and grammarian, who was probably born and certainly brought up in Rome. He was educated in Athens, after which he returned to Rome, where he held a judicial office...

     (125 – after 180 AD), grammarian, polymath
  • Lucius Apuleius
    Apuleius
    Apuleius was a Latin prose writer. He was a Berber, from Madaurus . He studied Platonist philosophy in Athens; travelled to Italy, Asia Minor and Egypt; and was an initiate in several cults or mysteries. The most famous incident in his life was when he was accused of using magic to gain the...

     Platonicus (123/125–80 AD), novelist
  • Marcus Cornelius Fronto
    Marcus Cornelius Fronto
    Marcus Cornelius Fronto , Roman grammarian, rhetorician and advocate, was born at Cirta in Numidia. He also was suffect consul of 142.- Life :Fronto, who was born a Roman citizen c...

     (100–70 AD), advocate, grammarian
  • Gaius Sulpicius Apollinaris
    Sulpicius Apollinaris
    Sulpicius Apollinaris, a learned grammarian of Carthage, who flourished in the 2nd century AD. He taught Pertinax, himself a teacher of grammar before he was emperor, and Aulus Gellius, who speaks of him in the highest terms. He is the reputed author of the metrical arguments to the Aeneid and to...

     (2nd century AD), educator, literary commentator
  • Granius Licinianus
    Granius Licinianus
    Granius Licinianus was a Roman author of historical and encyclopedic works that survive only in fragments. He most likely lived at the time of Hadrian.-History:...

     (2nd century AD), writer
  • Lucius Ampelius (2nd century AD), educator
  • Gaius
    Gaius (jurist)
    Gaius was a celebrated Roman jurist. Scholars know very little of his personal life. It is impossible to discover even his full name, Gaius or Caius being merely his personal name...

     (110–80 AD), jurist
  • Lucius Volusius Maecianus
    Lucius Volusius Maecianus
    Lucius Volusius Maecianus was a Roman Jurist, the Tutor in Law of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius.He was praef. ann. and Praefectus of Egypt in 161. When Governor of Alexandria he was slain by the soldiers, as having participated in the rebellion of Avidius Cassius in 175...

     (2nd century AD), educator, jurist
  • Marcus Minucius Felix (2nd century AD), apologist of Christianity, "the first Christian work in Latin" (Teuffel)
  • Sextus Julius Africanus
    Sextus Julius Africanus
    Sextus Julius Africanus was a Christian traveller and historian of the late 2nd and early 3rd century AD. He is important chiefly because of his influence on Eusebius, on all the later writers of Church history among the Fathers, and on the whole Greek school of chroniclers.His name indicates that...

     (2nd century AD), Christian historian
  • Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (121–180 AD, stoic philosopher, Emperor in Latin, essayist in ancient Greek
    Ancient Greek
    Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

    , role model of the last generation of classicists (Cruttwell)

Stylistic shifts


The style
Style (fiction)
In fiction, style is the manner in which the author tells the story. Along with plot, character, theme, and setting, style is considered one of the fundamental components of fiction.-Fiction-writing modes:...

 of language refers to repeatable features of speech that are somewhat less general than the fundamental characteristics of the language. The latter give it a unity allowing it to be referenced under a single name. Thus Old Latin, Classical Latin, Vulgar Latin
Vulgar Latin
Vulgar Latin is any of the nonstandard forms of Latin from which the Romance languages developed. Because of its nonstandard nature, it had no official orthography. All written works used Classical Latin, with very few exceptions...

, etc., are not considered different languages, but are all referenced under the name of Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

. This is an ancient practice continued by moderns rather than a philological innovation of recent times. That Latin had case endings is a fundamental feature of the language. Whether a given form of speech prefers to use prepositions such as ad, ex, de for "to", "from" and "of" rather than simple case endings is a matter of style. Latin has a large number of styles. Each and every author has a style, which typically allows his prose or poetry to be identified by experienced Latinists. The problem of comparative literature has been to group styles finding similarities by period, in which case one may speak of Old Latin, Silver Latin, Late Latin as styles or a phase of styles.

The ancient authors themselves first defined style by recognizing different kinds of sermo, or "speech." In making the value judgement that classical Latin was "first class" and that it was better to write with Latinitas they were themselves selecting the literary and upper-class language of the city as a standard style and all sermo that differed from it was a different style; thus in rhetoric Cicero was able to define sublime, intermediate and low styles (within classical Latin) and St. Augustine to recommend the low style for sermons (from sermo). Style therefore is to be defined by differences in speech from a standard. Teuffel defined that standard as Golden Latin.

John Edwin Sandys
John Edwin Sandys
Sir John Edwin Sandys FBA , was a classical scholar.He was born at Leicester on 19 May 1844, a son of the Reverend Timothy Sandys of the Church Missionary Society and Rebecca . Living at first in India, he returned to England at the age of eleven, and was educated at the Church Missionary Society...

, for many decades an authority on Latin style, summarizes the differences between Golden and Silver Latin as follows.
Silver Latin is to be distinguished by
  • "an exaggerated conciseness and point"
  • "occasional archaic words and phrases derived from poetry"
  • "increase in the number of Greek words in ordinary use" (Claudius refers to "both our languages", Latin and Greek)
  • "literary reminiscences"
  • "The literary use of words from the common dialect" (dictare and dictitare as well as classical dicere, "to say")

See also

  • Classic
    Classic
    The word classic means something that is a perfect example of a particular style, something of lasting worth or with a timeless quality. The word can be an adjective or a noun . It denotes a particular quality in art, architecture, literature and other cultural artifacts...

  • Classical antiquity
    Classical antiquity
    Classical antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ancient Greece and ancient Rome, collectively known as the Greco-Roman world...

  • Classics
    Classics
    Classics is the branch of the Humanities comprising the languages, literature, philosophy, history, art, archaeology and other culture of the ancient Mediterranean world ; especially Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome during Classical Antiquity Classics (sometimes encompassing Classical Studies or...

  • Latin
    Latin
    Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

  • Latin Literature
    Latin literature
    Latin literature includes the essays, histories, poems, plays, and other writings of the ancient Romans. In many ways, it seems to be a continuation of Greek literature, using many of the same forms...

  • Social class in ancient Rome
    Social class in ancient Rome
    Social class in ancient Rome was hierarchical, but there were multiple and overlapping social hierarchies. The status of free-born Romans was established by:* ancestry ;...